Fodor's Expert Review The Ludlow
180 Ludlow St., New York, New York 10002, USA See on Map
The latest stylish creation from hotelier Sean MacPherson, this property embodies the effortlessly cool attitude of the Lower East Side. Like many MacPherson hotels, people stay here for the super hip scene—the in-house restaurant, Dirty French, draws in locals and visitors just as much for the good grub as it does for the wildly-entertaining people watching.
Snug, but polished, rooms are notably comfortable, with a residential feel. Highlights include quality linens, big wall-mounted TVs, and sitting areas next to large, bright windows.
During the warm-weather months, terrace rooms with outdoor space are a worthwhile splurge.
The bathrooms are pretty basic, but very sleek, and include rain showers, interesting tile work, and marble-topped vanities.
The lobby is a regular lobby. It's small, and has a few chairs, a desk for checking in--nothing to see here, folks. However, just beyond it, guests will find extra space to relax in the cozy lounge with a limestone fireplace and a trellis-covered garden.
YOU SHOULD KNOW By day, the lounge is cozy and relaxing, but by night, the lounge is not cozy at all. It is a neighborhood hotspot with loud music and cocktail service—so don't even try to relax quietly by the fireplace with a book during this time, because you definitely won't be able to.
From the team behind acclaimed New York restaurants Torrisi Italian Specialties and Carbone, Dirty French is both a scene and a quality restaurant. The music is loud, the groups are large, and the checks steep at this fun, rowdy eatery. It’s much more sedate for brunch service--you can relax then.
Restaurants, parks, bars, and shops are all right on the doorstep of this stylish hotel. The best way to explore is on foot; those looking to travel beyond the neighborhood’s borders can make use of the subway at Delancey Street and Essex Street, with access to the F, M, J, and Z trains.
For an authentic taste of the Lower East Side, start your day at Russ & Daughters (2-minute walk), a traditional, appetizing shop that specializes in smoked fish and bagels. This neighborhood is also developing a reputation for ambitious restaurants that push boundaries--be a little adventurous and try the trend at Contra (4-minute walk). For picnic materials, snacks, or tasty tacos check out the Essex Street Market (4-minute walk), an indoor market with excellent baked goods, Greek treats, cheese, and more.
This neighborhood is dense with watering holes, offering everything from craft cocktails to local beers. Take a little walk along Houston to Suffolk Arms (4-minute walk) to try some of the neighborhood’s finest cocktails, or jump in the elevator at the Indigo Hotel to sip your drink with a skyline view at the rooftop bar, Mr. Purple (2-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Guests don’t need to go looking for a scene when staying here—the Ludlow provides it in-house. The destination restaurant delivers not just a fun vibe, but also stellar food. Its central location places the best of the neighborhood within a short stroll. Rooms are a bit tight on space, but supremely comfortable with quality finishes. Plus, it's not like you're going to be spending much time in your room--you're going to be way too busy with everything going on outside of it.
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